Resistance to the super-antibiotics Carbapenem and Colistin is spreading from farm animals to people in over 25 countries.
The bacteria resistant to these anti-biotics of last resort, first appeared in the industrial-harming centres where animals are pumped full of antibiotics to keep them alive in unhealthy conditions.
The mrc-1 gene that gives bacteria resistance to Colistin has now appeared in countries where Colistin is not fed to animals. China has just banned the use of Colistin in meat production and has started actively using it in hospitals. The presence of the mrc-1 gene in the general population, though, may mean that it is too late.
Flies are spreading antibiotic resistance from farms to people
The colistin resistance gene, mrc-1, has now been found in 25 countries, on four continents. It was first detected in China, though it is not known if it evolved there. It could well have as colistin is not used as an antibiotic in people, but 8000 tonnes of the drug is given to animals as a growth promoter every year, mainly to pigs and chickens. In April, this practice will be banned in China, and colistin will begin to be used to treat people instead. But it may be too late.
Geoff is an author, publisher and performer dedicated to building an independent media. He worked for Australian Consolidated Press as a Packer editor until starting his own media company in the mid-nineties.
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